Archive for the ‘UEFA CL’ Category

I think this was a warranted sacking. He basically took over what Mourinho started and couldn’t win, and that upset some people who head the club. What’s even worse is that unless they had a 3 point lead in the final week of play they would’ve lost it to Bolton anyway. Just 8 months, he did what he could, but when it came down to the last step, he couldn’t finish.

The rule I guess for Chelski Chelsea is:

Runner up in Carling Cup + runner up in FA Community Shield + runner up in Premier League + runner up in Champions League + humiliation against Barnsley =

BYE BYE AVRAM!!!!!!!!!

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Cue music, cue fans, cue stadium, cue commentators, we’re hours away from the first ever all-English final in UEFA Champions League history. Manchester United are looking for a cup double, while Chelsea are looking for instant success in their first ever final. Oops, and Avram Grant is also hoping that he isn’t thrown out if Chelsea lose again.

Manchester United

The Red Devils have had a great run in their first final since 1999 (the treble season). They have outscored their opponents 19-5, and just 1 goal was conceded in the knockout stage. Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney will be the forwards today and they will have to find a way to get past Petr Cech. Both have scored against Chelsea this season, with Tevez getting his first ever Man Utd goal at Old Trafford.

Cristiano Ronaldo, player of the year, one of the best in the game, need I say more? He leads all scorers in the Champions League with 7 goals, and we know what he can do to set up his teammates, or bend in a free kick from 30 yards away.

The midfield has been strong for the most part for United, Paul Scholes scored the winner for them against Barcelona to send them to the final, Ryan Giggs is going to surpass Bobby Charlton’s club record for caps, and Michael Carrick….well I said most part right?

United’s defense has been brilliant in this Champions League run, as mentioned, they’ve conceded just 5 goals in 14 matches. The goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar has been inconsistent at times, and he will have an important role in his first ever final.

Chelsea

Well, it hasn’t been as pretty but they are in! Things were quite bumpy after a 1-1 draw with Norwegian minnows Rosenborg at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho resigned and things were in peril for the club. They had to rally to beat Valencia away 2-1. Although they won their group rather easily, their goal scoring form was poor, just 9 goals and even 2 scoreless draws.

However, they blew past Olympianakos, survived a massive scare from Fenerbahce, and that set up another round of Chelsea vs. Liverpool. They were essentially saved from elimination all because of John Arne Riise’s own goal in stoppage time at Anfield, as that got them an away goal and a draw heading back to Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard, who lost his mother just 1 week before, stepped up and scored the go-ahead penalty in extra time with the score tied 1-1 in an emotional moment for the midfielder. They led 2-1, Didier Drogba scored to make it 3-1 and they held on to win 3-2 and 4-3 on aggregate.

For Chelsea to win this game, they need strong attacking play. Drogba has been in less than stellar form, Nicolas Anelka has been just about useless since being transferred from Bolton, and Andriy Schevchenko is just about the worst signing for the Blues this decade. They are in need of more chances to be created to frustrate Van Der Sar and company.

Michael Ballack has been much improved, the midfield seems to be dragging the Blues out of the dumpster, with Lampard and the German international leading the way. They will be very dangerous, especially when given an opportunity near the penalty area to smack in a free kick.

John Terry was injured 10 days ago against Bolton and that will be a major affect on this game, he will play, but whether or not he is healthy is the key. Petr Cech is considered by many to be one of the top goalkeepers in the world, and I find it hard to disagree.

Prediction

It’s going to be a tough one, a close game that will be dominated by defense, but I see Manchester United earning a cup double. We may even need extra time to decide this.

Man United 2 (Ronaldo 25, Tevez 103) Chelsea 1 (Lampard 33) (A.E.T)

For those in England, enjoy David Pleat butchering the names of Drogba and Beletti.:)

He’s done it again! Not a pretty goal, not a pretty game (actually the game was not entertaining at all…), but Kanu has sent Pompey to FA Cup glory over Cardiff City. Harry Redknapp two years ago rescued the south coast side from relegation, and now they are FA Cup champions. They will be playing in the UEFA Cup next season, congrats to them, and congrats to Cardiff, who made quite the stunning run to the final.

All Hail Russian Football!

Posted: May 15, 2008 in Soccer, UEFA Cup

Very good week for Russia eh? Win the UEFA Cup if you’re Zenit St. Petersberg, crash the chances of Rangers unprecedented cup quadruple, and Moscow hosts the UEFA Champions League final!

Photo from UK Reuters

Good times in Russia, they will be celebrating through the night!

Manchester United hang on to beat Barcelona 1-0 on aggregate after a tremendous goal by Paul Scholes, while Chelsea win in extra time 3-2 and 4-3 on aggregate.

It was an emotional moment as Frank Lampard scored the go-ahead goal on a penalty kick, just days after the death of his mother. After he scored he went to the corner flag and sunk to his knees with tears of joy as the Blues were only one step away from the final. Didier Drogba took care of that, as he scored his 2nd goal to make it 3-1 in the game, and 4-2 on aggregate. Ryan Babel had his shot deflected in for the Reds but it was too late. Another day, another Chelsea opponent ousted at Stamford Bridge.

It’s still possible for both teams to earn a Cup double, as they are currently tied for first place (the Red Devils have a massive goal difference though, so they hold the tiebreaker) with 81 points and just 2 games to go. A loss for either team essentially means doom for them. United face West Ham tomorrow at Old Trafford, a team they have lost to 3 straight times, while Chelsea face Newcastle on Monday at St. James’ Park.

The final will be held on May 21st.

Liverpool Flop at Kop End Again

Posted: April 23, 2008 in Soccer, UEFA CL

Liverpool give Chelsea an away goal. They also gave them the equalizing own goal at the kop end of Anfield. John Arne Riise probably lifted the Blues into the Champions League Final, as no one has beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in over 3 years. A 1-1 draw, and it looks like Avram Grant will have a chance at one trophy now.

I love the shock of the announcer (Clive Tyldesley), brilliant stuff.

FM Note: Won’t post anything until Monday on a mini vacation.

Certainly a very interesting week of football just now….and it’s not over, Manchester United vs. Arsenal may very well decide Arsenal’s fate and United’s title chances.

Portsmouth vs. Cardiff City in the FA Cup Final

Both Cardiff and Portsmouth won in er….very boring 1-0 games over Barnsley and West Brom respectively, and Portsmouth’s win confirms the Premier League will have one team in the FA Cup Final again. I certainly never envisioned either team making it past the quarterfinals but here they are and have pulled off miraculous runs. It’s good every once in a while that we don’t have the likes of Liverpool or Chelsea of the Premiership coast their way to Wembley.

Champions League Final 4

Manchester United will face Barcelona after hammering AS Roma 3-0 (2-0, 1-0), in their quest for a Cup Double. Barcelona are looking for something to raise their heads about as their La Liga chances are all but dashed.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea blah blah blah…I’m sick of seeing that series.

Arsenal/Liverpool 1-1

Before the classic encounter at Anfield in which the Reds won 4-2 on Tuesday, Arsenal could not put away Liverpool twice at the Emirates and suffered 1-1 draws. Arsene Wenger can pretty much kiss any trophy goodbye with a loss or even a draw this weekend at Old Trafford.

Canada’s Women’s Team Qualifies For Olympics

A first in Canadian football as the ladies qualify for their first ever Olympics after a 1-0 over Mexico, the team that knocked them out during qualification in 2004. They will join the USA, who as you know, steamrolls through everyone in CONCACAF. The men had a chance to qualify as well but they lost to the U.S in the semifinal 3-0.